Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: Vicious

Title: Vicious
Author: V. E. Schwab
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Tor
Rating: 4 Cows

Goodreads Description: 

A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

I wanted to L-O-V-E this book like so many others I know. However, I simply didn't. I liked Vicious. I enjoyed reading it but love? Not quite. It's an interesting premise and as always Schwab's writing is great. Yet, I still didn't feel connected to the story quite like I would have liked to. Why? I'm not entirely sure which is why I'm having such a difficulty writing this review. 

I guess I should start off with what I liked about Vicious. Sydney was the character I most enjoyed. Sydney was a sweet and innocent girl that was thrown into a very difficult situation. I also enjoyed Mitch's character and his loyalty to Victor and how relationship developed with Sydney. As for the two main characters, Eli and Victor, I didn't really care for either which is probably one of the reasons that I didn't love this book the way I had hoped. I know that Schwab was trying to challenge hero and villian stereotypes by showing that heros aren't all good and villians aren't all bad but to many they both just came off as villians. In my opinion, Victor isn't a hero any more or less than Eli is. They both do bad things that can't be justified. 

Another problem I had with how each chapter transitioned. The story jumped from one time frame to another. It took some getting use to. I did eventually get use to it but still I felt that it did detach me from the story jumping from this time to that time to this person's past to this other person's present. It was just kind of all over the place. It was an interesting way to tell the story but it just didn't work for me.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. It was an interesting storyline. Schwab kept me intrigued with the story from beginning to end. I have heard that a sequel is possible in the future and if that develops I will definitely read it. Not my favorite book by Schwab but still a very good read! 


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